I was brought in during the pre-production phase in 2008. As usual, I was called upon to specifically focus on creatures - the Green Martians, Woola and Thoats in particular. I was on the show for only three weeks, I think. And, as you know, none of my designs were actually used.
Concept design for John Carter, Green Martian Head Study (2008), unused.
I was preoccupied with coming up with a new and original vision of the Green Martians that adhered to ERB's (Edgar Rice Burrough's) words but strongly departed from the Frazetta, et al mold. I love Frazetta's work - it was inspiring to me as a teenager - but I felt that because it had already been seen an original approach was called for. So, I strived for something more realistic and severe. Their visible demeanor was meant to reflect their environment and their hardships on a dying world.
Concept Study for John Carter, Green Martian, (2008), unused.
I did some research in Tuaregs and other North African tribes and riffed on them. I wanted to impart a sense of old culture by layering a ton of exotic detail into their [accoutrements]. I loved the fact that Green Martians used long rifles - it fit perfectly with the Arab model and I wouldn't be at all surprised if ERB had that in mind when he wrote it. That kind of ornate weapon was making the rounds in Victorian and Edwardian homes. So, I used that and many bits and pieces of jewelry and costuming from African and Indonesian cultures as inspiration.
Concept study for John Carter, Woola & a Thoat (2008), unused.
Thanks to Wayne Barlowe for the images and the answers. You can see more of his portfolio at waynebarlowe.com.